Tag Archives: sweat

2 Key Moves for Toned Legs & a Firm Booty!

Toning your legs and booty doesn’t have to be a series of complicated & confusing movements. Nor does it require equipment. Using equipment is optional, and only includes one dumbbell or kettle bell (when you do it my way). You can stick to basic moves and still reach your goals and get the results you want.

Squats and Lunges

are two moves that will effectively target the biggest muscles in your body. Your leg muscles are dense and expansive, making them highly effective calorie burning machines. Furthermore, when you work these muscles, you are elevating your heart rate and increasing your metabolism. This will help your overall health, fitness and ability to keep fat off.

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Squats

There are many different squat variations; my favorite of which is the sumo (or plie) squat. Here are some key pointers to keep in mind while you perform a sumo squat.

1. Walk each of your legs out so they are a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.

2. Point your toes away from your body at a 45 degree angle.

3. Keep your posture strong with your butt back, shoulders back and chest out.

4. Bend your knees and drop your butt down so that your knees form 90-degree angles.

5. Do not let your knees drift farther forward than your toes. (Letting that happen will encourage knee injury).

6. Drive your weight down through your heels and push your body upright.

Sumo squats target the inside of your quadriceps and your glutes a bit more than a traditional squat does. Refer to the above picture for depictions of the correct form. Proper form is crucial in effectively engaging all prime movers (muscles) as well as preventing injury.

Advanced Variations:

As pictured, you can add weight to this move to make it a full body workout. Driving weight above your head in combination with the sumo squat move will engage and tone your shoulders. Making the move an explosive jumping motion is another way to exhaust those muscles for a quick, challenging workout (while also engaging your calf muscles). If you fancy yoga, you can hold this pose with weight (as pictured) and will feel the same burn!

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Lunges

Lunges are an absolute powerhouse move for toning the back of your legs and glutes. They also happen to be one of my favorite exercises. I love the added challenge of balance, especially when using weight. Just like in performing squats, there are some key pointers to keep in mind when lunging:

1. From a standing upright position, take a large step forward with one of your legs.

2. Bend & drop your back knee so that it touches (or comes very close) to kissing the ground.

3. Like in performing squats, do not let your knee exceed your toe.

4. Make sure you are maintaining a strong posture through the duration of the movement. Keep your shoulders back, butt back and chest out. As you fatigue, you will be tempted to lower your torso each time you drive your leg down. Challenge yourself to keep your torso perpendicular to the ground the entire time.

5. Drive your weight down through the heel of your front leg, push your body back to an upright standing position.

Refer to the above picture for depictions of lunge form.

Something that applies to both squats and lunges: when you are driving your weight back up, the part of your foot that you are driving weight down into will target different muscles in your legs. For example, if you drive your weight down through your toes in performing a squat, you will feel your quadriceps (the front of your thigh) engaged, whereas if you drive your weight down through your heels, your hamstrings and glutes will be more engaged. I generally recommend pushing your weight down through your heels (as I love a great booty workout) but it also tends to keep your center of gravity more controlled and keeps you more stable. I urge you to experiment with both!

Advanced Variations:

Add weight! Adding weight ups the challenge, which makes you stronger, which makes you leaner, etc. You can also incorporate a trunk twist mid-lunge to challenge your core and engage your oblique muscles. To take it up another notch, try lunge jumps. In a lunge jump, you are propelling your body into the air each time you drive that front heel down. In other words, you are jumping up from a lunge position and landing with the opposite leg in front of you. This will incorporate your calf muscles and elevate your overall heart rate in a hurry. Like with merely any exercise, you can morph a lunge into a yoga move by holding this lunge pose for as long as you can. You will work the same muscles, while also improving muscular endurance and overall balance & flexibility.

Happy squatting & happy lunging–challenge yourself to get your patootie firmed up for summer time!

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Thayer’s Natural Witch Hazel Review

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Thayer’s Natural Remedies

Overall Rating: images

About Thayer’s:

The Benefits:

Thayers Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Formula Astringents and Alcohol-Free Toners are soothing, natural treatments that cleanse, tone and soothe your skin. Made of extract from the Witch Hazel shrub and a blend of other time-tested ingredients, these natural elixirs containing important tannins have been a fixture in medicine cabinets for generations. Once you use them, you’ll know why.”

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Cucumber Witch Hazel

Thayer’s Description:

Stay Cool as a Cucumber, Whatever the Weather.

THAYERS® Alcohol-Free Cucumber Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Formula Toner cooling essence has a deliciously serene effect on the body. Experience our formula for serenity now! • Fragrance-Free • Paraben-Free • Naturally Preserved • Hypoallergenic.

Ingredients:

Purified Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Certified Organic Filet Of Aloe Vera), Glycerin (Vegetable), Hamamelis Virginiana (made from Certified Organic Witch Hazel) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Citric Acid, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract.”

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Lemon Witch Hazel

Thayer’s Description:

Like a Tall Glass of Lemonade for Your Skin.

Thayers Lemon Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Formula is a fresh-smelling, gentle astringent that cleanses and refreshes the skin with a delightful lemon essence.

Ingredients:

Purified Water, SD Alcohol 40-B (Natural Grain) 10%, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic Filet of Aloe Vera), Hamamelis Virgiana Extract (made from Certified Organic Witch Hazel), Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Extract, Fragrance (Natural Lemon), Citric Acid.”
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Peach Witch Hazel

Thayer’s Description:

An Orchard in a Bottle. 

Thayers Peach Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Formula is nectar for the skin. It’s got all the soothing properties you’ve come to love in our Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Formula Astringents, with a gorgeous, fresh-off-the-tree scent.

Ingredients: 

Purified Water, SD Alcohol 40-B (Natural Grain) 10%, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic Filet Of Aloe Vera), Glycerin (Vegetable), Hamamelis Virginiana Extract (made from Certified Organic Witch Hazel), Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract, Passiflora Incarnata (Passionfruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Extract, Fragrance (Natural Peach), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).”

 My Description & Thoughts about the different witch hazel scents:

I’m always looking for new ways to change up my skin routine for the better. I love trying new skin care products. I had heard of witch hazel before but was unaware of how to use it with my daily regimen Luckily, Thayer’s contacted me about giving their products a try. I love that a lot of the ingredients are organic and all of them are plant-derived and natural. I’ve been genuinely excited about all of the uses I’ve come up with so far–it makes witch hazel a useful, versatile product, as it replaces several bathroom products.

1. Mid-Day Facial Spray

Sometimes after a workout, half way through the day, my skin needs a refresh. I’ve found that what works perfectly for this is a mixture (1 part filtered water and 2 parts Thayer’s Witch Hazel) sprayed onto my skin with a small spray bottle. I dab the excess witch hazel off of my skin with a clean towel. Doing this helps my skin feel fresh without stripping away all of my skin’s moisture. My favorite for this is the lemon witch hazel.

2. Make-Up Brush Cleaner

It makes sense to clean your makeup brushes with a natural, gentle cleaner if you are already making an effort to use natural skin products.  That said, Thayers Witch Hazel makes the perfect brush cleaner. I simply fill a small bowl with witch hazel and place the end of the brushes into the liquid.  I let them sit there for a few minutes, swish them around and then rinse them. Let them air dry before using them again. Pick the witch hazel scent that you like best, as your brushes will not have remnants of that fresh scent. I like using the cucumber for this purpose.

3. Quick “Shower”

Because I am breaking a sweat at least once a day during my workout, I often find the need to clean up but don’t want to take several showers a day. A great solution that has worked well for me is dabbing Thayer’s Witch Hazel on a wet wash cloth. Wipe down at the necessary spots and you’re good to know! It will help eliminate body and odor and will leave a fresh scent behind. My favorite for this is using the peach witch hazel!

*These complimentary products have been generously provided to me for the purpose of trying them in order to write a review on my experience.

Palm Beach Athletic Wear Apparel Review

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

If you have read the story under my “About the Author” tab, you might know that I was born in West Palm Beach, FL and lived there until about age 10. I stumbled upon Palm Beach Athletic Wear’s site while on a mission to discover new fitness blogs. Two other fellow healthy lifestyle bloggers, Lisa and Lindsay had written review about PB Athletic Wear’s apparel and I was instantly interested and intrigued by the products because of their vibrant colors and unique patterns. You can read Lisa’s post here and Lindsay’s post here. I thought it was the neatest thing that there were two other bloggers raving about a brand based in the Palm Beach area. This brand has been on my radar ever since!

Even before reading my review, I am confident that any active gal can find a Palm Beach Athletic Wear product that they will love. Founder of PB Athletic Wear, Kristen Lemoine, has very graciously offered this to all of my awesome readers:

This code they can be used to get 10% off anything in stock on PalmBeachAthleticWear.com. CODE: “RUNON813”

Here is the back story on Palm Beach Athletic Wear:

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Palm Beach Athletic Wear

“In April, 2009, Palm Beach Athletic Wear was created out of a desire to help woman escape from the boring, basic and poorly made fitness wear available at big box retailers. Palm Beach Athletic Wear has quickly grown to become one of the top fitness fashion boutiques online, offering women of all shapes and sizes quality made and unique athletic wear with high style.

Several years ago, Owner and Fitness Wear Designer, Kristen Lemoine, managed a large chain fitness facility. After hearing countless stories from women that felt too self conscious to work out, Kristen knew she wanted to help women feel confident through quality made fitness apparel that would help them achieve their ultimate fitness goals. Kristen researched and found several top fitness brands and workout clothing that held jiggle in, smoothed out the lumps and bumps and was colorful and gorgeous. Many of the athletic wear brands she discovered were hard to find, Colombian designers that understood the importance of looking good and feeling great when working out.

“As the owner of Palm Beach Athletic Wear, I personally inspect, wear and launder samples of all the items we offer to ensure that the quality and longevity of our fitness wear stands up to our highest expectations for our customers. It’s essential that we provide women with excellent products that stand the test of time and hard workouts.” stated Kristen Lemoine, in a recent interview.

Leading the fitness revolution in fashionable women’s fitness wear and colorful yoga apparel for over 4 years, Palm Beach Athletic Wear and Palmbeachathleticwear.com continues to seek out top fitness fashions that are extremely well made, survive countless washings, make women feel confident when working out and fitness wear that can go beyond the gym and yoga studio, for every day comfort without sacrificing style.

Women today, seek active wear designed for them that is made to last, looks great no matter what sport or fitness activity they do, is colorful, unique and doesn’t lack style…. Exactly what Palm Beach Athletic Wear and palmbeachathleticwear.com is all about!”

Kristen graciously provided me with a top and a bottom to try out in my workout ventures:

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Bluefish Tweety Top

PB Athletic Wear’s Description:

Like silk against your skin this beautiful flowy top from Bluefish Sport is made to be worn during your workout, as a cover up and to and from the gym for everyday wear.  This fitness tank top is made of lightweight, flowy yoga soft material perfect for practicing yoga or pilates.  The front pleating creates a very flattering fit and the drawstring tie that cinches at the hem allows for a more custom fit. Silver rings at straps add a design element only found in the highest quality athleticwear.  We love to pair this top with the Basic Capri Pants or Basic Shorts but can be worn will all your fashion fitness pants.

My Description & Thoughts:

Since I am such an avid wearer of spandex pants when I workout, I tend to lean towards looser fitting tops so that I don’t feel that I’m in one big spandex outfit. This tank top is the perfect mix of breathability, comfort, sass, and ability to stay put while running.

The adjustable tie feature at the bottom hem of the top is a great idea and allows me to secure the shirt more around my torso, when I prefer to wear it that way. This piece is a great example of an item that can be worn around running errands after a workout because the mid section is forgiving, so you don’t feel like you’re showing too much.

The vibrant color reminds me of south Florida. Anything that reminds me of where I was born is an instant-favorite of mine. 🙂

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Chill Capri Pant Tie Dye Blue

PB Athletic Wear’s Description:

“This fitness fashion artfully designed printed activewear capri pant by Bluefish Sport is the hottest item to arrive at Palm Beach Athletic Wear.  The print lycra blend not only looks amazing it feels amazing and is so comfortable on you can wear them anywhere. From the gym to the street the Chill Fitness Capris have the potential to mix and match with just about any top for any occassion. We love to wear them with the Tweety Top or T Back Top and the Balance Bra.

Product features:

  • Lycra blend keeps you dry
  • Soft to the hand
  • Smooth flattering fit
  • Wide comfort waistband – no muffin top
  • Machine Washable
  • Odor reducing technology.”

My Description & Thoughts:

One item in my closet that I would deem indispensable is the ever-so-useful running tight, otherwise known as spandex. They have been my go-to for working out because I’m a gal who has always had muscular legs. I’ve found that shorts ride up and don’t stay put on me, especially while running.

I was intrigued to try these tights by Bluefish Sport (and sold by Palm Beach Athletic Wear) and see if they worked well for me during my workouts.

These tights are excellent. They wear like a dream–they don’t bunch up, they don’t move around and the waistband stays put & isn’t too tight. They are also figure flattering, especially with the way the waistband doesn’t cut in dramatically on the hip area–they are snug enough to stay put, yet forgiving enough to be comfortable.

The capri feature of this pants makes them versatile and suitable for summer and cooler temps.

I’m excited and grateful to add these two pieces to my daily workout apparel rotation.

Thank you, Kristen for your help and generosity in this process!

*These complimentary products have been generously provided to me for the purpose of trying them in order to write a review on my experience.